Rebuilt PCC 1050 Heads to SF, Honoring St. Louis

 

Our “spies” are everywhere, as evidenced by this photo posted by Jim Kulczyk in a Facebook group called “Civil Defense Fire Vehicles.” He writes: “My sister is a truck driver somewhere in [Southwest Pennsylvania] and caught this electric trolley being transported on a flat bed. Couldn’t help but notice the CD insignia. Looks to be in great museum condition.”

Well, yes, but more than that it should be in great OPERATING condition because it has just finished being thoroughly rebuilt at Brookville Equipment Company, the eighth of 16 vehicles in Muni’s current contract with Brookville. Car 1050 returns to San Francisco wearing the livery of one of the largest PCC operators ever, St. Louis Public Service Company (SLPS). We are delighted to see a PCC car in SLPS livery. Muni bought 70 PCCs second-hand from SLPS between 1957 and 1962, and one of those cars ran here in St. Louis livery during the Trolley Festivals of the 1980s.

Muni retains that car (renumbered to its original SLPS 1704) as one of about a dozen non-operational cars of this class, which have now been in dead storage for 30 or more years. None is currently slated for rebuilding, though some may be put back into service sometime in the future if demand warrants. But since no one knows when that might be, Market Street Railway encouraged Muni to repaint the 1050 into St. Louis colors as an overdue honor to that great system.

About that Civil Defense decal near the front door that caught Mr. Kulczyk’s attention: Market Street Railway suggested that be included, based on historic photographs that showed it to be common on SLPS cars during the era when that CD sign was common. (Muni streetcars had them on their windshields for a time as well, though it was unclear exactly where the streetcars could take you that represented an improvement over anyplace else on the streetcar system in case of a dire emergency. We like to see details gotten right where we can do so, though, so there it is.

This is a spot of good news in the wake of the collision on New Year’s Day evening that seriously damaged the most recent PCC in this contract to return to regular service, Car 1063, honoring Baltimore. We will provide updates on that event, and on 1050’s arrival in San Francisco, as we learn of them. When 1050 arrives in San Francisco, it is expected that the first of three-double end PCCs covered by the contract, Car 1015, will depart for Brookville and its complete rebuilding.

  • donewiththis

    This is such a joke. How much money are we spending to truck beautifully restored streetcars across the country as Muni begs for higher taxes, raises fares, and strands riders in the middle of subway “traffic” on a daily basis while complaining about its maintenance backlog?

    Not one penny more should go to this vanity project until we have world-class transport for SF residents.

    • Dongfang Hong

      It’s not a vanity project. San Francisco’s vintage fleet is world-class transport that’s beloved by SF residents and visitors from all over the world. We are very lucky to have it.

      Oh, and it really doesn’t cost all that much to truck a streetcar cross-country, particularly when you consider the overall cost of any streetcar — and the relatively low price of each restored PCC.

    • Tay Helm

      My boyfriend likes to visit SF from Australian every year (I go shopping while he goes riding) because of the interesting tram cars. Would you prefer we went elsewhere?

  • Tay Helm

    Keep it up MUNI, a great draw card for a San Francisco visit. Also much more economical than $2M on a new car.